Overcoming unique life challenges for a brighter future

The ‘Onwards and Upwards’ program from Inspiring Brighter Futures Foundation (IBFF) provides a safe and supportive environment where people learn to believe in themselves and become empowered to make changes that lead to a more fulfilling life.

A Social Justice Small Grant was awarded to IBFF to deliver a culturally responsive version of the Onwards & Upwards wellbeing and mentoring program to groups of Year 8 culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) females in a Queensland High School.

The program teaches valuable skills to provide participants with a mental tool kit to help them tackle the challenges of life, and to provide them with the support and guidance they require to change the course of their lives.

The program provides workshops to overcome challenges including prejudice, discrimination, social disconnect and lacking a sense of belonging. The students attended 8 x 90 minute workshops over 8 weeks, focusing on building self-awareness, self-confidence and self-belief.

Eight students from Year 8 and 2 students from Year 12 participated in the program. All participants found the program ‘rewarding’ or ‘highly rewarding’ and 100% said they would recommend the project to others.

The successful project met the expected outcomes and provided an opportunity for students to reflect on their values and encouraged them to make positive choices to lead to a healthier lifestyle via an educational and community-based mentoring program.

The program aimed to support and empower these students in matters of self-esteem and development of their identity, as well as mentoring and leadership skills to enable them to negotiate better outcomes in their lives.